Do you know that feeling when you see a book cover and it just grabs you in such a way that you don't even care what the book is about, you just have to read it? 


That's how I felt about Night of the Witch by Sarah Raasch and Beth Revis. The dark and green. The moon phases. The creepy tree outline. The font. Everything about the cover screamed, "read me, read me right now!"

Karin was wonderful enough to snag me a physical copy (AND GET IT SIGNED AND PERSONALIZED FOR ME ARE YOU KIDDING) at YALLWest this year, and then a few days later, I was approved for a digital ARC through NetGalley. If you've listened to the podcast for any length of time, you know that Karin and I experience um, delays, in shipping things to each other. I'm FAR worse about it than she is, but having the digital ARC made watching UPS slooooowly carry my box from California to Georgia not delay this highly anticipated read for me!

In Night of the Witch, we meet Fritzi, a witch who narrowly escapes an attack on her coven--the last known coven of witches in Germany--by the hexenjägers: religious zealots hellbent on eradicating witches from the earth. Her beloved mother is burned at the stake, and the sight still haunts Fritzi, who is now on the run from the hexenjägers, trying to find her way to her ten-year-old cousin Liesel, who was taken by the hexenjägers. When she happens to hear a woman (and witch!) being attacked, Fritzi barges in to her aid and quite literally makes the woman disappear, much to her shock, and to the dismay Otto, the hexenjäger who'd been trying to arrest his own sister, Hilde. From there, we follow Fritz and Otto as they both learn that there is much more than meets the eye, that things are not always as they may seem, and that trust and security may sometimes be found in unlikely places.

I hate to say this, okay. I hate it. But this book did not live up to my expectations. I enjoyed reading it, don't get me wrong. But unfortunately, it was a bit too close to the Serpent and Dove trilogy without making enough changes for it to not feel like I was reading a Lou and Reid retelling. I truly enjoyed the world building, and getting a peek at what medieval life in Germany might have been like. I also loved the girl power in this woman doing whatever she has to to get the child that she loves fiercely back to safety. I also will always love stories that feature the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone lore, which this had.

I didn't really enjoy the love story much at all; it felt far too rushed. I know that we all love a good slow burn, and this was the opposite of that: it was very nearly insta-love, which isn't my cup of tea. In that same vein, the pace of the book was all over the place. I was 75% into the story and still felt like it was in the rising action, setting up the story. Many of the "major" points in the plot felt rushed. On top of that, with the exception of one plot twist that I didn't see coming, the plot was very predictable. 

All of that being said, this book was beautifully written, and there were so many parallels to now that left me in awe. I "highlighted" (in my kindle) so many profound lines that I truly lost count. One thing Sara Raasch and Beth Revis absolutely know how to do is to make words into something totally gorgeous that really makes you stop and take them in. THAT is what kept me going, even at points where I felt like the plot was lacking. These women are truly talented, I just feel like this book could have been a bit more polished in the plot department.

Night of the Witch is the fist in the Witch and Hunter series (according to GoodReads) and I will likely pick up future books in the series, in the hopes that all of the pieces of this book that I loved remain, and the parts that I thought fell flat improve. I have faith that they will.

Love and Hilde's brewed beer,


Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley for free and have voluntarily written this review with my honest feedback.